Coronavirus: Italy orders closure of “non-vital companies”

Coronavirus: Italy orders closure of "non-vital companies"

Italy has ordered production activities to be stopped in all non-essential businesses. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a television address. The government has decided to shut down any production nationwide “that is not expressly necessary, critical, or essential to ensure our basic goods and services,” said Conte.

Italy was in the worst crisis since World War II, said Conte. Supermarkets, pharmacies, post and bank offices should remain open, and public transport should also be maintained.

Nowhere in the world is the number of deaths related to the coronavirus as high as in Italy. So far, 53,578 people have been infected with the Sars-CoV-2 virus, according to the Johns Hopkins University, 4,825 died after an infection.

On Saturday alone, nearly 800 people died in the country in one day. The army now transports dozens of coffins to the crematoriums every day, sometimes in long convoys. In some places one funeral takes place after the next, priests briefly give their blessings, then the next comes. (Read more about the dramatic situation in Italy here.)

The government had only tightened the curfews on Friday, which has applied nationwide since March 10. However, regional politicians in the north called for further measures, also because some people still did not comply with the requirements. Factories and offices have not yet been affected collectively by the locks.

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